Geotechnical engineers monitor drilling operations, take and analyze soil samples, and classify soil and rocks. They typically work outdoors with colleagues that help them collect data and samples. The engineers then pass their samples and data to a field supervisor, who will approve their work or send them back into the field for further research. The work is both physical and mental, as the engineer is required to go out in the field to collect samples and analyze them as well. They typically work during the day, when sunlight is plentiful. Critical skills in this position include an understanding of geoscience data acquisition procedures.
Geotechnical engineers typically must have at least a bachelor's degree in engineering. People in this position travel a lot, so they typically need a driver's license and a good driving record.Most engineering positions require a Professional Engineer's (PE) certificate or the ability to obtain the certificate; as they move up in the hierarchy of the company, geotechnical engineers typically need further certification and training.
Geotechnical Engineer Tasks
- Evaluate test data and develop design parameters.
- Perform engineering analyses including foundation capacities, slope stability and settlements, etc.
- Coordination of drilling and sampling of soil borings and supervision of laboratory testing.